Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Key Construction Risks from Systems Outside the Boundary Wall of the Plant

Generally all systems outside the boundary wall of a thermal power plant carries a huge construction risk.

These systems include:
1. Cross Country Pipeline for delivering the water to the thermal power plant
2. Transmission Line  for delivering the electricity produced at the plant to the nearest point in the grid
3. Railway Siding for delivering coal to the power plant

Generally the amount of risk is directly proportional to the length of system. For instance, a cross country pipeline of 60kms carries a much bigger risk than a cross country pipeline of 20 kms.
Generally for Cross Country Pipeline and Transmission Line, we only need to get Right of Way (ROW) which is sort of lease model and need not actually acquire the land. However for Railway Siding, we have to actually purchase the land. Land acquisition is a long and cumbersome process as there maybe more than 2000 individual land owners for a railway track of 20 km length.

For Cross Country Pipeline, its a better strategy is run your cross country pipelines  parallel to the road or a national highway and offset it from the highway by 10 to 30 metres. Generally the land around the highways is owned by Highway Authority or other Government bodies and getting the ROW is much simpler. However, as there maybe plans to make the highway from 2 lanes to a 4 lane highway in a few years and you maybe asked to relocate your pipeline. The plant owner must protect himself against this by leaving sufficient distance from the edge of the road or highway.

Additionally our pipeline may also be crossing local roads, national highways, rivers, canals, railway lines, other pipelines, petroleum pipelines etc. While finalizing the route of the cross country pipeline we must have a very clear strategy for overcoming all these challenges.